Sunday, August 29, 2010

your caption here

Sunday, August 8, 2010

bel: 6 months

Dear Mira-Mirabella, Mira-Mirabel,

Dear Beanie Baby-Beaner-Beanpole-Bean Tree-Fats McGee,

You are more than half a year old now. While that in itself is stunning, I am more amazed that the two weeks you were in the NICU still seem like they took longer than the last six months did.

Six months old! Wait... six and a half months old! Oh, sweet, darling, mooshy gusher... what a half year it has been! And I am wiser, serener, and filled to burst at the seams with ludicrous love because of it. Because of you.

Yes, you have Down syndrome. Yes, this defines you. Yes, you are my daughter with Down syndrome. You have Down syndrome, I'm your mama, and Bob's your uncle. (Not really, but isn't that a saying?)

But for all intents and purposes, Miss Mirabel, you are a PERFECT baby. I fully recognize the fact that I am the proud mommy bear of a well-behaved, mild-mannered, happy, smiley, agreeable, well-sleeping, good-latching, multi-chub-rolled, day-making child. You sleep when I want you to sleep. You sleep through the night, in your own room, for ten straight hours (minus a two-week hiccup of 3 a.m. wakings. Not a problem. Don't sweat it). You break into a full-faced beam when I peek over your crib railing to fetch you. You let anyone hold you. You cuddle. You rarely cry. You're pleasant.

I recognize how lucky we are to have such a delightful baby. I recognize and am grateful for all of this and so much more that you are.

Yes, you have Down syndrome. Yes, that knowledge is constantly on my mind. Always. Forever. Undoubtedly. It's okay.

It's okay.

Because you're healthy, and you're happy, and you have blue eyes (!), and you roll over in both directions, and you can *almost* sit up for one second, and you're crazy about your big sister, and you've found your toes and they're quite delicious. Hooray!

Am I all smarmy and gooey and sugary and delighted? So what if I am... 80% percent of the time? I am a proud and happy mama. But.

But. Girl, take a bottle.
Please, find one of the 85,000 nipples we've invested in an suck on it! I love that you nurse so well. I love, love, love to breastfeed you. But sometimes, Mama wants to know that I can be away from you for 3 or four hours, if need be, and that you can be fed.

You are simply not having it. All the physical therapy we practiced for weeks when you were three months old, when we got you on a bottle for a while, has gone out the window, and you are now a six month old who can arch and refuse and whimper and put her chubby foot down. Uh-uh. No bottle, no way, no how.

So. That's the next step in your physical therapy regime, which we get to experience every other week. You will get it. You will.

So far, we have met all of our physical therapy goals. Holding your head up, rolling over, reaching for toys... check, check check. Next is sitting up, and I'm confident you'll be doing that in the next month. Which will be nice, because while it is so pleasant to have some extra "baby" time, you're getting to be a bigger girl (15 pounds! 25 inches!), and it would be nice to plop you down on your fat little bottom instead of lying you on your back.

Thank you for making me smile, every. single. day. Thank you for the long, soft, sweet nuzzles in my bed every morning as we nurse. Thank you for choosing me to be your mommy. I'm madly in love with you.

I love you, Mirabel!


The Beholder

When I look at pictures of my daughter I have to make sure my mouth is closed. Otherwise, I’m afraid my heart might fall out and go flopping around all over the desk, and I’d have to swallow it back down again.

I am stunned with love by this child.

I am humbled by her peacefulness and grace. I am mesmerized by her open, consistent delight. I am hypnotized by her falling-deep blue eyes, the color of an autumn storm sea.

I have been changed because of a baby with Down syndrome. I am a different person.

Mirabel, sweet, soft, wise and gentle Mirabel, is a plump snugglecake of True Love. She is an armful, a cheekfull, a deep double-lunged breathfull of Hope and Acceptance, all bundled up in a sixteen pound peach fuzzed giggle.

And it is the same when I peruse your blogs and read the snippets you post and look into the soulful faces of these life-altering little nuggets who are gracing this plant every 770 births or so. Do you feel it, too? It’s the eyes, isn’t it. It’s the tender tolerance behind those almond-shaped eyes. I want to scoop up all these children and nuzzle them for days and days.

You parents out there wouldn’t mind, would you?

I am so grateful to the universe for gracing me with a child to behold with such profound leaps of wonder.

Blessed be.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

star shirt!

Luciya, August 2007

Mirabel, August 2010